Eindhoven to host this year’s World Robot Championships

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Team Tech United prepares for battle in 2013. Image: RoboCup 2024
Team Tech United prepares for battle in 2013. Image: RoboCup 2024
Eindhoven University of Technology is hosting this year’s World Robot Championship. Its own team, Tech United, is a multiple world champion and expects to score in front of the home crowd as well!

Each year at the RoboCup, the best teams compete for world titles in various robot competitions for fully autonomous robots that play soccer matches, perform household chores, or engage in rescue work in difficult places. From year to year, the world championship takes place in a different leading city, such as Bordeaux (2023), Bangkok (2022) and Sydney (2019). This year, Eindhoven will be welcoming teams from all’over the world to the tournament being organized by TU/e. Around fifty thousand people are expected to visit the RoboCup in Eindhoven.

The world of autonomously operating robots is a fascinating one. Without humans at the controls, they find their way, thanks to a clever interplay of almost every discipline found at TU/e: from design to electronics, control software and AI, materials science, and mechanics. Smart sensors make sure they know exactly where they are and where they want to go.

TU/e is organizing this year’s edition, RoboCup 2024 , together with the Promotech 2050 foundation, which represents the Eindhoven robot teams. Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to attend this multi-day event. It is not the first time that Eindhoven has hosted the world championships. Also in 2013 , when the tournament was opened by Queen Máxima, the university showed its ability to organize an excellent tournament that culminated in a full grandstand of four thousand people at a spectacular robot soccer final.

The goal of RoboCup

The goal of RoboCup is to accelerate the development of affordable and reliable robot technology, for example, to keep healthcare accessible and affordable.

After each edition of the tournament, participating teams share their knowledge so that everyone can prepare for the following year with the same insights. The ultimate challenge is for soccer robots to be able to beat the human world soccer champions by 2050.

The Chairman of the RoboCup 2024 board and associate professor of Robotics at TU/e, René van de Molengraft, is the driving force behind the tournament as well as the successful Tech United team. "I am incredibly proud that we as TU/e can host the world championship again. Of course, we are doing this in good cooperation with Eindhoven City Council, the Promotech 2050 foundation and the sponsors."

RoboCup 2024: discover the world of Autonomous Innovation

Following legendary editions in Nagoya, Sydney and Bangkok, it is now time for Eindhoven to provide a stage for the latest developments in robotics. "We will be welcoming an estimated three thousand participants from some 45 countries, competing against each other in five exciting leagues: RoboCupSoccer, RoboCupRescue, RoboCup@Home, RoboCup Junior and RoboCupIndustrial," says Van de Molengraft.

RoboCup leagues

Various disciplines will see teams compete for world titles with autonomous robots that they have designed and built themselves. The best-known discipline is robot soccer , where robots play against each other in teams in different classes.

Of these, the Middle Size League is by far the most well-known. This is the class in which our own team Tech United competes, and in which it has been multiple world champion since 2012. Other soccer classes range from robots the size of a human being to fully simulated soccer teams.

A lot of attention is also being paid to healthcare robots in the RoboCup@home league in which autonomous robots learn to perform auxiliary tasks in and around the home. In a simulated domestic environment, the robots are given tasks such as picking up medicine or putting down a drink.

The progress in recent years in this field can safely be called impressive. That makes it all the more exciting to see what the teams accomplish this year. Such care robots will eventually enable people to live at home longer and reduce the need for care staff.

Another league that has attracted increasing attention in recent years, for example, is the RoboCup Rescue league where robots help rescue services, for example to investigate or explore areas where it is too dangerous for humans, such as a building after an earthquake, where there may still be survivors.

Tech United Eindhoven

Tech United is a multidisciplinary team of former and current students, PhDs and employees of Eindhoven University of Technology engaged in the development of robotics. Knowledge in the fields of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer algorithms are used to solve problems. Tech United’s home base is the RoboCup stadium at Eindhoven University of Technology.

RoboCup 2024

The 25th world championship will take place from July 17 to 21 in Eindhoven, in the Genneper Park. The five Eindhoven RoboCup teams participating are multiple world champion Tech United (TU/e), Robot Sports (VDL), Falcons (ASML), RIF (Fontys) and RoboHub (Fontys). Of course, teams from other Dutch universities will also be participating. In total, over three thousand engineering students from 45 countries will be participating in the event.

During the event and its preparation, Eindhoven’s sports campus at Theo Koomenlaan, near the National Swimming Center de Tongelreep, will be the very heart and offer visitors to the competitions plenty to do and learn about robotics off the field.

Marloes van de Burgt, project manager of the tournament explains what visitors can expect. "On the grounds of the Genneper Park, in addition to visiting the various robot competitions, there will be plenty to do for young and old. For example, demonstrations of state-of-the-art robot technology that show what is possible as well as lectures, also for children. In addition, there will be many workshops and, for example, cuddly robots."

"For business visitors and partners, there will be presentations from institutions and companies from various sectors that see robotics as an important solution to societal problems in, for example, healthcare, food supply, energy supply and transportation. So my recommendation to everyone is not to miss this if you want to discover the latest developments in robotics that the Netherlands has to offer. Tickets are now on sale on our website!"

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